Do You Wanna Go FASTER?

[Note:  This is from my column in today’s Metro papers. For the full article, go here.]

Here in Southern Ontario, the End Times for summer is heralded by the opening of the Canadian National Exhibition. For me, the CNE works much better in nostalgic terms than actually going again. I’d rather preserve those memories as they are rather than risk having them corrupted forever.

For example, no visit to the CNE was complete without a spin on that ride with that guy who was always yelling “DO YOU WANNA GO FASTER?” while the music pounded. Even though the cars and walls were encrusted with centrifugally applied vomitus, I just had to give it a whirl, even though I knew the little donuts and corndogs would soon be liberated from my digestive tract.

A big draw for me was the music. Some unseen DJ, probably with fewer teeth than a chicken, spun the tunes from a booth somewhere in the back. He, the ride, and the fact that physics was about to push me very tightly against whatever girl was sitting next to me made even the lamest songs—“You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate comes to mind—seem unbelievably exciting. And for whatever reason, I’ll forever associate that ride—Polar Express, Himalaya, whatever it was called any given year—with “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group.

I decided to conduct an experiment in crowdsourcing as part of my Recommendation Project.  (For those who have been counting, this is part 5.  Part 6 will be revealed later today.  Find all Recommendation Project playlists at

Although I received hundreds of replies on Facebook, Twitter,  Google+ and Rdio, many of us seem to have the same memories of the songs we heard on that ride.  I distilled everything down to these songs.  Anyone have anything else to add?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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